Sports Doctor Warns on Dangers of Concussions

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Athletes are the most likely to suffer from concussions, the consequences of just one hit to the head can be have lifelong effects.

Northwest Arkansas Naturals team Doctor Chris Dougherty, who works at Northwest Health Systems Agility Center in Bentonville, says he's seen a number of athletes suffer from concussions.

“Once you get a concussion basically you can have some scarring that occurs inside the brain, the problem with scarring inside the brain tissue is the cells that are being separated conducting electricity normally can often become knotted together in a scar ball,” explains Dr. Dougherty.

Some of the symptoms include:

Headaches, drowsiness, nausea, balance problems, fatigue, vomiting, and dizziness.

Dougherty says numerous blows can affect your speech and, like Muhammad Ali, you can develop Parkinson’s disease.

“Because if you have someone that clearly has a concussion symptoms and returns to play they are at risk for death,” adds Dougherty.

The deadly part of the concussion is the Second Impact Syndrome, when someone receives another blow to the head.

This happened to a 17-year-old high school football player in the region not too long ago.

The player was hit in the head but passed all the criteria to get back into the game.

“He returned to the field in the next game and had done very well, but at some point in the game suffered from another blow.  After the game he started experiencing a significant headache and gone home and then unfortunately expired from the Second Impact Syndrome,” explains Dr. Dougherty.

Right now there is no law in Arkansas that requires an athlete with a concussion to stay out of the game.

But the doctor is working with lawmakers to change that in the 2013 session.

“What we've done is we've looked at the laws in other states combined them into one concise policy that we would like to see implemented throughout the state and that's something that we hope will be active at the end of this year or next year at the latest," says Dr. Dougherty.

If you would like to know more about concussion symptoms and treatments visit http://www.arsportsmedicine.com